Motor Industry Warned: 'No More Handouts'


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Britain's struggling car industry cannot expect any more Government handouts, the Business Secretary has indicated.


Car manufacturers were badly hit by the recession and are
not yet out of the woods

Instead help will be offered in the form of "a stable business environment", Vince Cable said.

"I don't see the future in terms of large-scale Government support for individual (car) companies," he said.

"We have just emerged out of a period of very heavy Government investment (in the motor industry). We are now in a different era. We are not in that world. We have moved on.

"I am trying to spell out the world which the Government is in."

The challenge for politicians was how to back the industry in a way that was "genuinely affordable", Mr Cable said, warning that "too many governments had supported excessive capacity".


Business Secretary Vince Cable says car companies are now in a "different era"

He ruled out another Government car scrappage scheme, saying: "In a crude way, it did work but it was a very expensive form of support. I don't want to rubbish it but it's past, it's finished."

The last government’s £400m "cash for bangers" scheme gave manufacturers a much-needed boost before it ended in March.

The initiative saw car-owners being paid £2,000 - split between the Government and the motor industry - to get rid of their aged motor in exchange for a new one.

Mr Cable added that a commitment by the last government to subsidising, from 2011, the buyers of electric cars for a quarter of the purchase price was "still actively under consideration".

He was speaking at an international automotive summit in London organised by the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).